Manchester United have reportedly been dealt a serious blow ahead of their Premier League clash with Bruno Fernandes’ injury, which was worse than expected.
The Portuguese midfielder injured his ankle in Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Brighton at Wembley, which United won on penalties.
But Fernandes was substituted in extra time after initially suffering the problem in the first half of the game.
He didn’t wear protective boots on the touchlines or out of Wembley afterwards – but his wife Ana Pinho posted a picture on Instagram on Monday showing the midfielder wearing protection around his ankle alongside a boot and crutches.
It raised fears that Fernandes could miss Thursday’s decisive game against Tottenham, which could go a long way to securing United’s top-four position if they can win the game. And a new report says the injury appears to be worse than previously thought.
Fernandes is expected to be ruled out of Thursday’s match with an ankle problem, according to the Daily Mirror.
It is also argued that the 28-year-old is also a doubtful for Sunday’s match against Aston Villa, another key element in the battle for Champions League qualification.
Fernandes returned to Manchester with the rest of United’s tour group following the win at Brighton on Sunday and underwent tests the following day to determine the extent of the problem.
But it’s reportedly a big miss for Erik ten Hag against Spurs as part of an ever-growing injury roster. If he is unavailable at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, he could be replaced by Marcel Sabitzer, who came on in extra time against the Seagulls.
Football Insider claimed earlier this month that United were interested in making the Austrian’s loan deal at Bayern Munich permanent this summer – and he could play a key role for Ten Hag’s side for the rest of the season.
Bruno Fernandes may need to adjust his approach to Manchester United after returning from injury.
Manchester United could do without Bruno Fernandes in their Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night.
Fernandes was injured during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final victory.
He was eventually taken off the field in extra time, with Wout Weghorst coming on as a substitute. The 28-year-old would have been one of the players to net a penalty in the shoot-out but Erik ten Hag’s side still managed to get the job done as they progressed to the final at Brighton’s expense.
Given United’s win – and the fact that Fernandes played most of the match – his injury has remained somewhat under wraps. However, when his wife, Ana Pinho, posted a photo on her Instagram story of the Reds ace sitting on a couch with his right leg propped up on a pile of pillows, it became clear his hitting was worse than initially thought dreaded.
The image showed Fernandes’ bound ankle, while a protective boot and crutches also lay beside him. He suggests the ex-Sporting man is unlikely to play a role against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday, which would be a major blow for United.
Fernandes is a player who misses very few games. This season alone, the midfielder has made 49 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals and providing 13 assists. He has played in more games than any other midfielder at United this season – all three games he missed were due to suspension.
According to Transfermarket, the 28-year-old hasn’t missed a game through injury since the 2018/19 campaign. His stamina is something he is understandably proud of and the Portugal international relishes the mammoth shot. “When I was at Sporting it was the same thing,” Fernandes told Sky Sports earlier this month. “I was one of the first players in Portugal to play 56 games for the club in one season. At the end of training I was always throwing some extra and the doctor knocked on the window and told me to come in.”